Apple stopped $1.5 bn in fraudulent transactions on App Store in 2021

Apple protected customers from more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions on the App Store in 2021, the company has informed.

This prevented attempted theft of the App Store users’ money, information, and time, and kept nearly a million problematic new apps out of their hands.

Apple said in a statement late on Wednesday that it stopped over 1.6 million risky and vulnerable apps and app updates from defrauding users.

“Bad actors continue to evolve their methods of online fraud, often making their schemes harder to recognise. That is why Apple has continued to refine its processes, create new ones, and engineer solutions to take on these threats,” it added.

In 2021, Apple deactivated over 170 million customer accounts associated with fraudulent and abusive activity.

“In 2021 alone, as a result of a combination of technology and human review, more than 3.3 million stolen cards were prevented from being used to make potentially fraudulent purchases, and nearly 600,000 accounts were banned from transacting again,” Apple informed.

In 2021, App Review helped over 107,000 new developers get their apps onto the store.

“This process can be iterative, since sometimes apps may be unfinished or contain bugs that impede functionality when they are first submitted for approval, or they might need to make improvements in its moderation mechanisms for user-generated content,” said Apple.

In 2021, over 835,000 problematic new apps, and an additional 805,000 app updates, were rejected or removed for a range of reasons like those.

“As part of the App Review process, any developer who feels they have been incorrectly flagged for fraud may file an appeal to the App Review Board,” the tech company noted.

Last year, the App Review team rejected more than 34,500 apps for containing hidden or undocumented features, and “upward of 157,000 apps were rejected because they were found to be spam, copycats, or misleading to users, such as manipulating them into making a purchase”.

Sometimes, nefarious developers try to circumvent App Review by creating an app that appears one way, only to alter its concept or functionality once it’s been approved.

In 2021, over 155,000 apps were removed from the App Store for these kinds of violations.

The App Review team also rejected over 343,000 apps for requesting more user data than necessary or mishandling data they already collected.

With more than 1 billion ratings and reviews processed throughout 2021, Apple systematically detected and blocked over 94 million reviews and over 170 million ratings from publication for failing to meet moderation standards.

“In an effort to protect users who download apps beyond the safe and trusted App Store, over the last 12 months, Apple found and blocked over 63,500 illegitimate apps on pirate storefronts,” said the company.

Over the past month alone, Apple has blocked more than 3.3 million instances of apps distributed illicitly through its Enterprise Developer Programme.




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